EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 04 - 2011 Num. article: 2011/089

Interception of Astylus atromaculatus and Tetranychus fijiensis in the Netherlands

The following insect pests have recently been detected on imported plant material (interceptions) by the Dutch NPPO.

  • Astylus atromaculatus (Coleoptera: Melyridae) on imported sorghum seeds
In October 2010, the NPPO of the Netherlands reported the interception of sorghum seeds imported from Argentina because of the presence of Astylus atromaculatus (spotted maize beetle). This insect originates from South America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil), and also occurs in South Africa (introduced in the 1910s as a pollinator) and Swaziland. Adults feed on pollen from many cultivated plants (e.g. Arachis hypogaea, Cucurbitaceae, Fragaria ananassa, Glycine max, Helianthus annuus, Medicago sativa, Sorghum, Vigna unguiculata, Zea mays), and weeds. Large populations of beetles may cause damage on flowers and seeds. Larvae live in the soil and feed on decaying plant material, but in the case of large populations, they may feed on young, germinating plants. Adult beetles can be toxic to cattle when ingested in large numbers, as they contain high concentrations of batrachotoxins. In countries where it occurs, A. atromaculatus is generally not considered as a major pest.

  • Tetranychus fijiensis (Acari: Tetranychidae) on imported palm trees
In April 2010, the NPPO of the Netherlands reported the interception of Tetranychus fijiensis on Livistona palms imported from Sri Lanka. T. fijiensis is a polyphagous mite which can attack many cultivated plants such as: Areca catechu, Carica papaya, Citrus, Cocos nucifera, Dieffenbachia, Morus alba, Passiflora, Plumeria, Prunus persica, Pyrus communis. Its currently known distribution is as follows:
Africa: Seychelles.
Asia: China (Hainan), India, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand.
Oceania: Australia (Northern Territory), Federated states of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea.
Considering the fact that T. fijiensis is not expected to establish outdoors under the climatic conditions prevailing in the Netherlands, no specific phytosanitary measures were taken by the Dutch NPPO.
The pest status of Tetranychus fijiensis in the Netherlands is officially declared as: Absent, only intercepted during import inspection of Livistona palms originating from Sri Lanka.


NPPO of the Netherlands (2010-04, 2010-10).